Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Reflections, Part 5

I grew up poor. One of my most embarrassing memories was the day one of my teachers called me to her desk, informed me that I qualified for the free lunch program and asked if I would allow her to sign me up. There was no way I was going to pull out that bright yellow meal card to pay for my lunch when all my friends were paying with money. I would have rather starved than to be in the free lunch program.

Have you ever been poor? How do you feel about being poor?

There is nothing that you can conclude about Joseph and Mary but that they were poor. After Jesus is born they take him to the temple to dedicate him to God. As a part of the worship experience they were to offer a sacrifice. Most couples would offer a lamb. Joseph and Mary are obviously poor because they offer two pigeons (Luke 2:24).

There’s no place for prosperity theology in the Gospel story. Yet there is a sizable segment of the American church that preaches that one will have health and wealth if one follows Christ. How does prosperity theology have a leg to stand on when all the disciples suffered for following Christ, most died a martyr’s death and many had few if any possessions when they died?

I’m grateful that I have a house, car, clothes and plenty of food. I count them as blessings from God. But the absence of things is not an indicator that one is not blessed. The Apostle Paul testified that he had seasons where he had much and seasons where he had little and in both cases he was blessed, not because of stuff, but because he had Jesus in His life.

Are you blessed? Are you a blessing to others? Do you steward the things that God allows you to use so that others are helped and God is glorified? Do you experience contentment with what you do have?

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